Confronting Change

THE PEOPLE

THE CHANGEMAKERS WHO FOUGHT FOR DESEGREGATION

THE CHANGEMAKERS

Through sit-ins, protests, and legal battles, changemakers confronted bigotry head-on, inspiring the masses to join them. Their legacy serves as a testament to the power of unity and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Floyd B. McKissick Sr.
Walter Riley
Bessie McLaurin
Vivian McCoy
Margaret Holmes Turner
Wense Grabarek
John Edwards III
Evelyn McKissick
Louis E. Austin

A New Generation

A Youth Led Protest

While many Black adults had only ever known segregation and had accepted it as a part of their lives, it was their children who actively championed to end segregation. Though many youth protestors recall fearlessness during demonstrations, their parents were deeply concerned for their safety.

Son, never pay for segregation and don’t ever let me catch you in a buzzard’s roost.
– John Edwards’ father

After Desegregation

Change extended beyond the Carolina Theatre. Despite integration, numerous Black individuals refrained from attending the theater. While many Black adults, who had endured Jim Crow, perceived this as a triumph, Black youth viewed theater desegregation merely as a beginning. Subsequently, youth protested the desegregation of public accommodations across the city and the nation.